The Oregon Employment Department has reported that accommodation and food industries in Deschutes County are employing nearly as many workers as during pre-pandemic times. in seasonally adjusted models. The county reportedly added a total of 2,140 jobs total in December, and unemployment dropped to 4.3%. Strong hiring has been going in the hospitality and restaurant sector in Oregon state since October.
Damon Runberg, an economist working with the Oregon Employment Department, has stated in a press release, “The industry lost a little momentum last winter with another wave of the virus but quickly rebounded again in the spring and summer of 2021. The most recent monthly estimate for Deschutes County’s accommodation and food services in November 2021 has employment levels up 2% above 2019 levels.”
“The total number of job ads in the accommodation and food services industry are up 96% from pre-COVID levels, yet employment is only down around 5%. This is a good sign that businesses are hiring, but they are trying to do it at a much faster pace than the labor force is growing,” Runberg said.
Food carts, fast food drive throughs and restaurants with outdoor seating seem to be doing particularly well, according to Runberg, achieving notable job growth. However full-service restaurants are still down more than 600 jobs or about 12% compared to pre-pandemic levels.